Fitness

Bodyweight Chest Workout – Calisthenics

This bodyweight chest workout is composed of variations of push ups and dips, including light to moderate intensity exercises, but not high intensity ones. Personally, I think it is hard for us to focus our chest.  High intensity exercises will not help.  Anterior deltoid, triceps tends to take over.  Thus, this workout mainly focus on the chest connection and metabolic stress.  Though the intensity is not high, with uses of intensity techniques, like supersets, drop sets etc. It can also train the chest effectively.

This workout consists of 4 combinations of exercises.  Some are just 1 exercise while some are 2 exercises.  Finish the first one then do the next one without any rest in between.  The former exercises are the main exercise while the latter one are the complementary.

The main ones focus on the forms and quality while the complementary ones focus on lengthen the time under tension for metabolic stress.

This workout will use different angles to train the chest.  The arm (elbows) moving:

  • Forwards: middle chest
  • Incline: upper chest
  • Decline: lower chest

 

#1 Chest-focus Push ups

This is the one I have taught in the last video, targeting the middle chest.  Do 4 sets with 10-12 reps.  Rest 60-90s.  If you haven’t watched my last video regarding the techniques of push ups, please watch it.  Because many techniques are used in the workout.

The pushing direction is a slight inward.  Imagine the elbows to touch each other with a slight rotation(external).  I like to do it when a slow tempo especially the upper portion.  When reach the higher position, squeeze your pecs.  You should feel sore in your chest in set 3,4.

 

#2 Rocking Push ups + Pike Push ups

They are targeting the upper chest.  Once you finish the rocking push ups, do the pike push ups without any rest.  Do 4 sets with 10-12 / 8-10 reps.  Rest 60-90s.  You need to push inclined for the rocking push ups.  The body will move with slightly backward.  Your need to adjust your body by rocking your foot.  Your foot will return to the original position when you lower your body.  If you find it too difficult, you may replace it with a decline push ups.

Pike push ups, supposed to target your shoulder, are now slightly modified to target your upper chest.  Shoulder-width, elbows pointing back, not out. Lean forward when you lower your body.  You should find a comfortable angle between your body and legs.  It should be <= 45°   at the lowest position.

 

#3 Chest Dips + Knee Push ups

It is a mechanical drop set combination for lower chest.  Do 4 sets with 10-12 / 8-10 reps.  Rest 60-90s.  For dips, you upper body should lean forward which helps targeting your chest.  It is advised that the angle at the bottom shall not < 90°.  Otherwise, it may jeopardise your shoulder joint in a long run.  Quality over quantity.

Once you finish dips, do the knee push ups immediately to lengthen the time under tension.  You are welcome to replace it with incline push ups.

 

#4 Diamond Push ups + Normal Push ups

This one targeting the peak contraction.  Do 4 sets with 10-12 / 6-8 reps.  Rest 60-90s.  Pause at the top and squeeze the pec if you can.  If you are too fatigue, It is alright you cannot not to do that in every reps.  The drop sets (push ups) do not need to be so strict as you are fatigue.

 

# Bonus

As mentioned before, you can include some extra exercise like squeezing the pecs.  This is inner-pec push ups learnt from Jeff Cavaliere.  Rotate your body when pushing up. Let your am cross your middle line, maximising the squeezing.

When you finished the workout, you can include some mid-back exercise (rear deltoid, middle/lower traps, rhomboid) like wide rows, face pulls etc. to neutralise excessive pushing movements.  Remember to stretch your chest and deltoid as well.

You can train at home, in the park/gym. You should be finish it within 30-40 minutes.  Adjust the workout according to your status, for example, you can change the rest time, reps and sets.  If you still find it too difficult, you may do only the main exercise and ignore all the complementary exercises.

 

The followings are some sample workouts.

Easy:

  • #1 Chest-focus Push ups
    • 3 sets.  10-12 reps. Rest 1.5 min
  • #2 4 Diamond Push ups
    • 3 sets.  10-12 reps. Rest 1.5 min
  • #3 Knee Push ups
    • 2 sets.  10-15 reps. Rest 1 min

Moderate:

  • #1 Chest-focus Push ups
    • 4 sets.  10-12 reps. Rest 1-1.5 min
  • #2 Chest Dips
    • 4 sets.  10-12 reps. Rest 1-1.5 min
  • #3 Diamond Push ups
    • 3 sets.  10-12 reps. Rest 1-1.5 min
  • #4 Normal Push ups
    • 3 sets.  10-12 reps. Rest 1-1.5 min

 

Hard(Original)

  • #1 Chest-focus Push ups
    • 4 sets.  10-12 reps. Rest 1-1.5 min
  • #2 Rocking Push ups + Pike Push ups
    • 4 sets.  10-12/8-10 reps. Rest 1-1.5 min
  • #3 Chest Dips + Knee Push ups
    • 4 sets.  10-12/8-10 reps. Rest 1-1.5 min
  • #4 Diamond Push ups + Normal Push ups
    • 4 sets.  10-12/6-8 reps. Rest 1-1.5 min

 

Challenging – High Volume Training

  • #1 Chest-focus Push ups+Fast Push ups
    • 4 sets.  10-12 reps. Rest 1 min
  • #2 Rocking Push ups + Pike Push ups
    • 4 sets.  10-12/8-10 reps. Rest 1 min
  • #3 Chest Dips +Knee Push ups
    • 4 sets.  10-12/8-10 reps. Rest 1 min
  • #4 Diamond Push ups +Normal Push ups
    • 4 sets.  10-12/6-8 reps. Rest 1 min
  • #5 Inner Pecs Push ups
    • 1 set,24-30 reps(Allows rests within the set, per 20-30s max.)

 

Note:No rest between the 「+」 exercises (Superset / Drop set)

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